The Canadian, “another chance” in the eyes of Kovalchuk and not the last

Le Canadien, «une autre chance» aux yeux de Kovalchuk et non la dernière

Ilya Kovalchuk has agreed to a contract to both sides of a value of $700,000 US on Friday, about two and a half weeks after he had cut ties with the Los Angeles Kings.

4 January 2020 18h16

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The Canadian, “another chance” in the eyes of Kovalchuk and not the last

Alexis Belanger-Champagne

The Canadian Press

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BROSSARD — Ilya Kovalchuk could not help smiling when he reported the declaration of Marc Bergevin of the day before, when the director general of the Canadian had stated that the Russian striker was his “last chance” by accepting a contract to low-risk with the impact.

Kovalchuk has agreed to a contract to both sides of a value of $700,000 US on Friday, about two and a half weeks after he had cut ties with the Los Angeles Kings.

The hollywood adventure of Kovalchuk in his return to North America after five campaigns in the continental hockey League (KHL) has been an end in the tail of a fish. After having amassed 16 goals and 18 helpers in 64 outings last season with the Kings, Kovalchuk has been limited to three goals and six helpers in 17 outings this fall.

After facing the Habs on November 9 at the Bell Centre, it no longer has donned the uniform of the Kings. His contract was then terminated on 17 December.

“I don’t want to go into details, said Kovalchuk when asked about the end of his stay with the Kings. There are several things that have not worked, but I prefer to go to the front. I want to do everything to help my new team.

“For me, it is another chance to start fresh, he added. It didn’t work out with the Kings and it is behind me.”

Kovalchuk started his first media scrum as a member of the Canadian by saying in French that he is “very happy to be in Montreal.” He wore the number 17 and has admitted that he was going to give a gift to Brett Kulak for Sunday to thank him to have transferred his number. Kulak will focus now on the 77.

In uniform as early as Monday?

Kovalchuk stated that he continued to train in Miami for his divorce with the Kings. He was noted to have lost a bit of weight, to follow the pace set by the young skaters of the NHL.

He hopes to quickly have the opportunity to prove that he has good things to offer to the Canadian. Why not as soon as Monday, when the Canadian will host the Winnipeg Jets?

“It is one thing to say, but I want to go on the ice and demonstrate,” said the Russian 36-year-old.

“I think you can use me by digital advantage. I know that there are many injuries in the team. I hope that these guys will come back soon.”

Questioned in the morning on the role that he had the intention to give Kovalchuk, head coach Claude Julien had not yet had an answer to give. It has, however, bragged about the shooting powerful and accurate of the one who has scored 436 goals in 897 games in the NHL with the Thrashers in Atlanta, the New Jersey Devils and the Kings.

“On the numerical advantage, it is a bit like (Shea) Weber and the teams are trying to prevent it from pulling, noted Julien. He may be old, but it still has a good shot.”

For her age, Kovalchuk insisted that he never thought to hang up his skates in the last few weeks. He also pointed out that a return in the KHL was an option for him. But for the moment, he is happy to meet at the Canadian.

“I didn’t want it to end as it has ended in Los Angeles. I didn’t want to stay on the bench to collect my pay cheque”, he insité.

“This was not a matter of money or anything. I want to play hockey. It is the thing that I love to do most,” said Kovalchuk.

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